So yeah, i just found out that 4 days ago Dead Island 2 was yet again delayed, this time though NOT as much as it had already been, so instead of early February it’s now shooting for a late april release, as displayed in the above “delay communication post/image” (which are by now a specific brand of art in themselves), which at least acknowledges how ridiculous (yet fitting, i would add) is for a game that spent 8 years in development hell to be delayed so soon after reemerging as something else entirely.
Which in itself it’s fine by me, i can wait, we can wait at this point (and it’s also savvy given what’s releasing that month in terms of videogames), but i wish they announced this sooner, as now the original plan for the retrospective on the Dead Island series, with a review each month, it’s busted, so instead of releasing a review of Dead Island Riptide – Definitive Edition at the end of this month, it’s gonna skip November entirely and instead go for a December slot.
Same for the remaining two games (again, i’m not counting the defunct spin-offs Survivors and Epidemic, here is a reminder as of why), so those reviews will come out bi-monthly to coincide with the new release date of Dead Island 2.
Hoping i don’t have to do another of these post by then, who the hell knows.
You know i don’t even need an excuse to review these old Godfrey Ho movies aside from the fact i just love to do so. But its still (technically) the spookie-ookie season, so you better believe i have some properly themed (or more spuriously-connected) reviews of garbage from the nearly infinite pile of Godfrey Ho 80s output, and we already reviewed the infamous Robo Vampire, so let’s indulge.
I’m gonna just call it Zombie VS Ninja, since it’s original title and the one it’s known as mostly, though in my UK DVD release by Vengeance Video it was retitled as Zombie Rivals on the box, Zombie Rivals: The Super Ninja Master on the disc, and “Zodiac America – The Super Master” in the actual film, which is the usual transfer from VHS, with 3 extra minutes of black nothing at the end, just so the film can technically reach 90 minutes. As usual for these.
So, we already start with some strong “Ho-isms”, not bad, and this one of the few Pierre Kirby feature entries in Filmarts/IDF catalogue, so we start off on the right foot.
As they announced via a trailer early this month, we’re gonna have Bonelli, an italian comic books publishing house, give another crack of turning one of their decades long running series into a live action film, with the movie adaptation of Dampyr, a horror comic book series created in 2000 by Mauro Boselli and Maurizio Colombo about the supernatural adventures of the protagonist, a hybrid between a human and a vampire (so, yes, a “dhampir”), set to release very soon in theathers here.
Not only that, this is supposed to kickstart the Bonelli Cinematic Universe, and while to many non-italians readers this sounds like a cheap joke i’m making up…. it ain’t, and from a more marketing-oriented view, it makes sense, as now the time is ripe to give it a shot as audiences are familiar and used to superhero stories and stuff alike.
Still, it sounds hilarious to me to see them still trying to go this route, as if Universal itself tried and managed to cock it up not once, but twice, and in general very few players can do the MCU thing.
So it’s worth bringing back that the precedents aren’t exactly high in terms of inspiring any confidence or actual committment to any long term plan, as we saw Sergio Bonelli’s publishing house try it more than a decade ago with the live action adaptation of a far more famous italian horror-supernatural comic book series that will ring a bell even outside of Italy.
Despite horror having mostly plauted as a prolific genre in terms of high profile releases here in Italy (and indie releases often being insanely obscure to find and often almost not worth bothering)…. somehow i still find here and then a low budget obscure italian-produced horror movie that managed to get itself released on DVD in the UK.
And if Arachnicide could do it, of course Eaters can too.
The subtitle to help cataloging can be stamped on the UK cover art for the DVD, why not?
So good a couple of months after its release Netflix cancelled the series all together.
Exactly like it did for its Cowboy Bebop’s live action series, but i doubt this will be the last time we see this treatment, as Netflix is committed to bring more live action crap into its folds, especially by picking a “random” videogame or anime/manga license.
But that discussion will have to wait for when the One Piece live-action series (also by Netflix and also handled by the same production team behind the aforementioned live-action Cowboy Bebop), for this is a Resident Evil affair, and the series already had its own spotted history of adaptations.
I was gonna review this thing anyway, but cancelling any further seasons it’s definitely a move that appeals to my vulturine tendencies, and also means i hopefully won’t have to talk about it again at a later date. Hopefully, who the hell knows with Netflix nowadays, since not even instant super mega hits that are well received by most people like The Sandman (adapted from Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name)… aren’t guaranteed a second season, as the very people making it explained.
Quite the legendary trash film from Godfrey Ho (credited as Thomas Tang, once again), one that definitely lives up to its status as one of the most bonkers heaps of garbage to ever come out of the 80s never ending cauldron of action-xploitation movies.
It’s definitely quite infamous and rightfully so, because even if you’re acquainted with Godfrey Ho, Joseph Lai, their companies like Filmark International and IFD Arts, this is still absolute hokum of majestic proportions, downright unbelievable and baffling.
I can’t even imagine how much cocaine did Ho and his unnamed writers snort up for this one in particular, because it makes their cut n paste ninja flicks look downright sensible and composed.
The main reason it’s because Ho (or Lai, or whoever supervised the scripts, hard to say when Ho is credited for many films he didn’t even direct) didn’t bother to say no to anything proposed, i refuse to believe anything got cut from the script since it’s all a non-sensical demented mish mash.
I started playing this mid-summer for kicks, but what do you know, in early september Dead Island 2 actually resurfaced after 8 years of radio silence, multiple developers change, and it’s coming out… in February 2023. Odd date, but i guess Deep Silver isn’t keen on waiting for a timely summer release, after the game overlong stay in development hell, so much that Techland spun another zombie series after basically being denied work on any Dead Island game after Riptide.
Perfect time for a retrospective of the series as a whole, so let’s start from the original Dead Island, in its Definitive Edition form (which on PS4 and X-Box One came packaged as a collection with the direct sequel Riptide and the spin-off Dead Island: Retro Revenge included).
We’re reviewing this version also because i’ve played Dead Island on PS3 when it was new… and this was indeed one of those games that could have used some enhancing and overhauling, etc.
I guess some history won’t go amiss, but if you happened to… not exist in 2012, you missed one of the most perfect example of misleading, bullshit hype trailers ever made, as originally we were fed a non-gameplay trailer that went for shock value (depicting a dead zombie child, among other things), trying to make you believe the game would treat the topic with some seriousness… only to find out Deep Silver were just being the deceitful liars they are, as we had a game where you combine shit to make fire-laden blades and battery-powered electrical pikes, with a slow-mo effect for when you decapite the plentiful undeads, or crush their rotten brains under your foot.
Since that thing i improvised last October did okay… let’s try to make it a yearly tradition, why not?
8 selected horror reviews sparkled through the whole month, in a pick-n-mix fashion!
Also, starting from October onwards, each month i will have a full lenght, in-depth review for each installment of the Dead Island franchise, with the retrospective culminating on the release of Dead Island 2 in February 2023.
Yeah, since this time we actually have real gameplay footage, Deep Silver isn’t waiting for a topical release date anymore for its zombie game, and wants this out before the unthinkable happens and they’re forced to restart the project from scratch for the 4th time or something.
Or before Goat Simulator takes further piss of that old E3 trailer with Pigeon John’s The Bomb playing to the sprinting dead.
The ONLY game i won’t be reviewing it’s the smarthphone spin-off Dead Island Survivors, because aside an old EXPRESSO review made in italian years ago (which i’m not unearthing or reusing in any way), i don’t have much written thoughts on it, as i didn’t play it that much when it released, and the game shut down in July 2020, so…
It wasn’t bad either, it was a top down action rpg with tower defense elements, free-to-play with all the shingle that it entails, but it was basically akin to Orcs Must Die, so it’s kind of a shame i can’t revisit it anymore.
One last review to end this year’s Musou May (and yes i want to make this a regular column) proper, and it couldn’t be anything else than the Dynasty Warriors live-action film that came out last year in Chinese territories and has landed on Netflix pretty much everywhere. In 2021.
I genuinely did not knew it arrived last summer, and somehow Netflix forgot to tell me they even had it, shocking given my cronology, and due to me genuinely looking forward more to the movie than to mainline Dynasty Warriors games, as i’ve lamented before.
Though it’s one that both leaves you with a lot and very little to talk about, at least in terms of plot, since the series it’s one of the many adaptations of the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms novel, and despite their over the top nature, the games stayed fairly loyal to the source material in terms of characters and events, heck, even on stuff like the sparing supernatural-magic elements.
Even if i reviewed (or re-reviewed, since i did already cover this one in 2017 on my older Italian blog) this one before of Miura’s passing, i would have told a tale of sadness, woe and disappointment.
But i won’t deny that with Kentaro Miura spiralling out of this mortail coil just over a year ago… there’s an extra serving of melancholy to the subject, which it’s ironically fitting in its own way.
As you would expect, there was some expectations at the time, even more since Koei Tecmo teased it and made a big deal about one this being one of more bloody and violent Warriors games ever…. and in hindsight it’s very telling, as they also did this lip service for Warriors Of Troy. Oh boy.
That aside, you would expect the Berserk musou to be pretty bloody and gory regardless, and it definitely delivered on that, can’t take it away from the game. I can though laugh at the fuckin localized english title they went with for this game, Berserk’s main character has a name, and a pretty not-generic one, you know?
He’s called Gatsu/Guts, just so you know.
Though that it’s not completely random, as the game starts from the Golden Age arc and covers up to the Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc, with them boarding the ship after fighting Ganisha serving as the closing chapter.